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Estonian president: Ukraine should decide its own future

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Ukraine should be able to decide its own future, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said at her meeting with the Ukrainian head of state, Petro Poroshenko, in Tallinn on Monday.

Kaljulaid and Poroshenko focused at the Monday's meeting on the situation in eastern Ukraine, the relations between Ukraine and the European Union, and implementation of reforms in Ukraine, the office of the Estonian president said.

Kaljulaid emphasized after the meeting that the sanctions against Russia must remain in place until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. "Ukraine's territorial integrity must be restored and Russia must stop destabilizing Ukraine," she said.

Commenting on the Ukraine-EU relations, Kaljulaid stated that Estonia is in favor of introducing a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens as soon as possible. "We wish for practical cooperation between the EU and its Eastern partners to deepen, which requires real steps. Eastern Partnership is one of the priorities of the Estonian EU presidency."

The heads of state discussed the need to continue domestic reforms in Ukraine as well. According to Kaljulaid, Ukraine has made progress in this sphere but definitely needs to carry on the started work. "Estonia will continue to support Ukraine in reforming the state. Ukraine needs our support, understanding and help. Each country must have the right to decide its own fate," she said.

The Ukrainian president thanked Estonia for its support to his country, including medical rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

Kaljulaid gave a dinner in honor of the Ukrainian head of state at the Town Hall of Tallinn on Monday night.

Ratas reaffirms Estonia's continued support for Ukraine

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas confirmed Estonia's continuing and wide-ranging support to Ukraine at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday, the government's press service said.

"We must on no account forget or regard as normal the fact that, for the third year running, warfare is going on right here in Europe in which thousands of people have been killed or injured. We must recognize that for Ukraine this means that the country as a whole is unable to develop, but for the rest of Europe this is a threat to overall security and stability," Ratas told the Ukrainian head of state who is on an official visit to Estonia.

According to Ratas, the European Union's stance on Russia's aggression is unequivocal and unanimous – Europe supports the complete restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity both through a policy of sanctions as well as through economic support offered to Ukraine.

"The ongoing conflict must be resolved as quickly as possible and peacefully. It will also be Estonia's duty to work towards a resolution of the crisis as the presiding country of the EU. I can assure you – Ukraine is not alone," Ratas said.

The head of the government stressed that progress with reforms and a successful fight against corruption will not only have a direct impact on Ukraine's economy, business environment and foreign investments but also on the country's societal cohesion and national security.

He also assured the president that Ukraine can count on Estonia's strong support when it comes to visa liberalization and entry into force of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

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